Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

-- I have to say, I can't even take credit for all of that, because the staff and the personnel at Citizens Bank Park are amazing. They were amazing, and they were interested and they were engaged. And it was sort of funny because at the end, there were some people who missed the educational sessions, and Andy, who works with Eric and Vanessa, who really helped me get everything off the ground at the Park, e-mailed me and he said, There's some people who missed it, I heard you give this talk 18 times, send me the slides, I'm going to take care of it. I mean, it was that level of dedication and interest in really being an inclusive setting. It was remarkable.

And then what we did, which I think makes our experience at the ballpark a little different, is on Tuesday night we brought about ten families affected by autism and ten clinicians, and we provided a practice experience at a collegiate game at the Park. So our families came and, in sort of a less overwhelming setting, got to practice the experience of coming to a ball game. And now during the course of the season, the Phillies have generously given us some tickets to bring more families to the Park supported by clinicians, so that if families have difficulties, they have support right there, so that one day they will be able to come to the Park independently.

So I just want to read you a letter I got from one of our families from Tuesday night quickly, and then I'll just make a couple more comments.

Dear Wendy, I wanted to express our sincere thanks for providing such a tremendous opportunity in last evening's practice baseball game. Our family had not previously imagined that we could attend such an event with this level of success, and we feel compelled to tell you how thrilled we were to participate. Pierce had a very good experience and he was able to work through typical stressors such as waiting in line, walking through turn-styles, and moving from activity to activity with less difficulty than we would have expected.

Thank you for all your work with the Phillies organization on delivering such a valuable event. With this practice run, our family has the confidence to attend a sporting event later in the season, and we anticipate the ability to attend other activities which we typically would not have attempted.

Providing community and service staff understanding of autism is such an important piece of our children's growth potential, and we heartily applaud the efforts of AIR in bringing the gap between our children and the communities in which we live.

So this is really what it's all about, and I just want to say when we started the air travel program in Philadelphia a few years ago, the people at the Airport were equally amazing. And I love that program because travel is such a great metaphor for everything else. It's so much more than how we get from one place to another. It's really about having opportunity. And I loved coming to the Phillies because, first of all, they're just amazing, and Eric and Vanessa and also Bryan Angione have really been amazing in helping us bring this to the Park, but also because baseball and sports is so much more than a game. It really emphasized the importance of teamwork, of people coming together to reach a common goal. It emphasizes the idea of practice, that we all need practice in order to reach our potential. And it also is so important, sports is so great as just this idea of sometimes we need to over -- we can overcome the odds to accomplish both what can be unexpected and also inspiring.

So I'm really thrilled and honored, and I am really grateful to the Phillies and also the other people who helped, Aramark and Theraply, in helping bring this new program to the Park, and we're really hoping that over the upcoming years, it will continue to grow.

So thank you for having me today.

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